Biophysical Newsletter - January 2014

Newsletter january 2014


58 th Annual Meeting

Seven speakers were selected for the 2014 New & Notable Symposium from among nearly 120 submissions. The speakers, listed below, will present their work in San Francisco during the Symposium on Sunday, February 16, at 10:45 am. 2014 New & Notable Symposium

February 15 – 19, 2014 San Francisco, California January 13, 2014 Undergraduate Poster Fest Pre-Registration January 17, 2014 Childcare Pre-Registration Blogger Applications

Basuthkar Rao , Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India Chromosome Territories Spatially Reorganise during DNA-Damage Response in Mammalian Nuclei Blake Wiedenheft , Montana State University Structure of the CRISPR RNA- guided Surveillance Complex

Erhu Cao , University of California, San Francisco Structural Insights into TRP Channel Activation Elizabeth Chen , Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Myosin II Functions as a Direct Mechanosensor for Intercellular Invasion during Cell-Cell Fusion Anne Kenworthy , Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Sterol Binding Controls Partitioning of the Amyloid Precursor C99 Protein between Ordered and Disordered Membranes Suliana Manley , Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland High Throughput 3D PALM Imaging Elucidates Mechanisms of Bacterial Cell Division

January 26, 2014 Hotel Room Block Reservation

Summer Course in Biophysics May 13–July 31, 2014 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

from the Adaptive Immune System in Escherichia coli Hao Wu , Harvard Medical School Elucidation of Filamentous Structures in Immune Signaling

February 15, 2014 Priority Application Submission

Robert Nakamoto , the chair of the New & Notable Symposium explains that, "The speakers of this year's New and Notable symposium will present exciting new results that were obtained using a range of biophysical approaches to address very challenging questions. I find it stunning how investigators continue to develop methods to study increasingly complex systems at very high resolution."


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Biophysicist in Profile Biophysical Journal

Grants and Opps

Science Fair

Biophysical Society


Conferences for Minority Students Mechanobiology of Protein and Cells

Dear Molly Cule

Public Affairs

Upcoming Events

2014 Annual Meeting



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Biophysical Society

Biophysicist in Profile Sandrasegaram Gnanakaran

Officers President Francisco Bezanilla President-Elect Dorothy Beckett Past-President Jane Richardson Secretary Lukas Tamm Treasurer Paul Axelsen Council Karen Fleming Taekjip Ha Amy Harkins Samantha Harris Peter Hinterdorfer Juliette Lecomte Amy Lee Marcia Levitus Marjorie Longo Merritt Maduke Daniel Minor, Jr. Jeanne Nerbonne Gail Robertson Claudia Veigel Antoine van Oijen Bonnie Wallace David Yue Biophysical Journal Leslie Loew Editor-in-Chief

Sandrasegaram Gnanakaran , known to his friends and colleagues as “Gnana,” learned independence early. When only eleven years of age, he left his family and the rural Sri Lanka town where he grew up to attend a prestigious school in the capital city of Colombo. With his father serving as a senior official in the Ministry of Education, Gnana grew up understanding the value of a good education. Science, however, was not the field he envisioned himself pursuing. “Had I remained in my country of birth,” he says, “I would probably have pursued a professional career like engineering or medicine.” Staying close to home was no longer an option when Sri Lanka’s violent civil war broke out when Gnana was in high school in Colombo. During the riots in July 1983, one of his classmates was killed, and Gnana nearly lost his life as well. The

family home was burned, and Gnana spent several days in hiding before ending up in a refugee camp. It was not long until his family sent him to the US to continue his educa- tion in a more stable environment. After moving to the US, Gnana enrolled as an under- graduate at Virginia Commonwealth University, and it was during his time there that he first took an interest in scientific research. In particular, an independent research course under the direction of Sarah Rutan spurred his deci- sion to pursue graduate studies in computer science and chemistry. Gnana enrolled in a PhD program in physical

“ As I have started studying more biophysical problems,

I realize that no single approach is enough to solve a problem ” – Sandrasegaram Gnanakaran

chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied energy transfer and relaxation of vibrationally excited molecules in different solvents under the mentorship of Robin Hochstrasser . During his time in Hochstrasser’s lab studying protein dynamics using IR spectroscopy, Gnana says, “I became interested in research problems at the interface of biological and physical sciences.” Working with Hochstrasser taught Gnana the value of tackling a scientific problem from many different angles. Gnana has carried this multi- pronged approach with him throughout his scientific career. Gnana continued in Hochstrasser’s lab as a postdoc, during which time, he says, “I was involved in the theoretical interpretation of new 2D-IR spectros- copy that was started around that time in his group. I used molecular dynam- ics simulations to deduce conformations of peptides in conjunction with 2D- IR.” This work strengthened Gnana’s interest in biophysics, and specifically sparked his curiosity about protein folding. He wanted to learn more about computational approaches to study protein folding, so he was excited to hear that Angel Garcia was looking for a postdoc. Gnana approached Garcia at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, and soon began work in Garcia’s group at the Los Alamos National Labs (LANL). Coming from an experimental lab, Gnana had much to learn about the theoretical approaches to studying protein dynamics, folding, and misfolding. Thankfully, Garcia was an excellent mentor. “He had a vision of how com-

Society Office Ro Kampman Executive Officer

Newsletter Alisha Yocum Monika Zakrzewska Production Laura Phelan Profile

Ellen Weiss Public Affairs

The Biophysical Society Newsletter (ISSN 0006-3495) is published twelve times per year, January- December, by the Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Distributed to USA members and other countries at no cost. Canadian GST No. 898477062. Postmaster: Send address changes to Biophysical Society, 11400 Rockville Pike, Suite 800, Rockville, MD 20852. Copyright © 2014 by the Biophysical Society. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved.


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genetic, and cellular pro- cesses in order to understand how multi-drug resistance efflux pumps are able to resist so many antibiotics. Gnana’s group has also been instrumental in establishing theoretical capabilities to overcome challenges related to cost-effective biofuels. “Biophysical questions concerning the enzymatic degradation of cellulose are what really got me started

putational approaches can be used to solve chal- lenging biophysical problems,” Gnana explains. After completing his postdoc with Garcia, Gnana stayed on in the theoretical biology and biophysics group at LANL as a staff scientist. One of the great benefits of working at LANL has been the close proximity of talented researchers in a variety of fields. “As I have started studying more biophysi- cal problems,” Gnana says, “I realize that no single approach is enough to solve a problem, and many different approaches need to be implemented together.” With access to this impressive pool of researchers, an interdisciplinary approach has become an important feature of his current research program. One of his frequent collabora- tors at LANL is Byron Goldstein . The pair has recently worked together to build detailed models of cell signaling cascades. These models can be problematic because they contain a large number of parameters that need to be evaluated in order for the models to have predictive value. Goldstein explains, “Gnana and I have collaborated to try to bring structural biology to bear on these models. A first goal of ours is to improve the estimates of equilibrium and rate constants that characterize intramolecular reactions and intramolecular inter- actions that occur on surfaces, parameters that are difficult to determine experimentally.” They have already shared some success on this project, in es- timating the intramolecular equilibrium constants frommeasured solution binding constants for the binding of the adaptor Grb2 through its two SH3 domains to the five polyproline binding sites on the nucleotide exchange factor son-of-sevenless 1. Gnana does not accept superficial explanations, demanding to get to the heart of the problem, but he does it in a gentle way.” Gnana is currently leading a project at LANL to address efflux pump mediated drug resistance – the dominant drug resistance mechanism in gram- negative bacteria. “At present, we rely heavily on antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections encountered in public health and bio-threat sce- narios,” he explains, “however, the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance poses a major hurdle in the treatment of infections.” Gnana and his team are working to develop an experimentally-driven math- ematical framework that will integrate structural,

Gnana with his wife Brintha, daughter Neytra, and son Navin.

in this field,” Gnana explains, “We understand somewhat how enzymes catalyze reactions in an aqueous environment. However, in the case of cellulosic conversion of glucose to ethanol, we needed to know how three kinds of enzymes work together in synergy to break down crystalline cel- lulose to glucose.” The group at LANL has been working with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Center to find which properties determine efficient catalysis of an enzyme on native and non-native cellulose surfaces. They have also developed mathemati- cal models to identify proper mixture of these enzymes that effectively degrade cellulose. When he is not in the lab, Gnana is often still thinking about biophysics, as one of the organiz- ers of the q-bio Conference (, which he calls “a forward-looking conference on quantitative biology.” Gnana also looks forward to going home each day, where he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. He has even begun to share his love of sports with his daughter. Says Goldstein, “When his first child was a year old, Gnana began to watch Sunday football (American) with her on television. He introduced her to baseball as well, taking her to see the Albuquerque Isotopes play. Now three, she can talk baseball. I am sure Gnana will give his son the same broad educational experience.” For those just starting out in biophysics, Gnana has this advice, “Have a broad perspective on biophys- ics. As a biophysicist you often encounter setbacks or failures…What defines success is how one deals with failures and turns them into advances.”


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Biophysical Journal Corner

Biophysical Journal Award Biophysical Journal (BJ) is pleased to an- nounce the new Biophysical Journal Paper of the Year Award. The award will be pre- sented to the corresponding author of an outstanding paper published in the Journal during the previous 12 months beginning with January 2014 submissions. To qualify, the corresponding author must have re- ceived his/her PhD or MD within the past 12 years. The award will spotlight the high- quality work of young investigators who publish in BJ . The award will include a $1,000 prize and a speaking position at the Annual Meeting Awards Symposium. Regular research articles will be nominated by each of the Associate Editors and the award recipient will be selected by a committee of Associate Editors and the Editor-in Chief. Reviews The following Review was published in November: FRET Spectrometry: A New Tool for the Determination of Protein Quaternary Structure in Living Cells , Valerică Raicu , Deo R. Singh . New & Notables Each month a few papers are highlighted in BJ with a New & Notable article. These are commentaries in which the author can highlight a point, question, or controversy raised in the paper it discusses. Following is a list of New & Notable articles recently published.Visit to read the articles.

Capsid Deformations Reveal Complex Mechano-Chemistry, Konstantin I. Popov , Garegin A. Papoian , which highlights the paper: Structural Transitions and Energy Landscape for Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus

Capsid Mechanics from Nanomanipulation in Vitro and in Silico , Olga Kononova , Joost Snijder , Melanie Brasch , Jeroen Cornelissen , Ruxandra I. Dima , Kenneth A. Marx , Gijs J.L. Wuite , Wouter H. Roos , Valeri Barsegov .

Dynamic DNA Underpins Chro- mosome Dynamics , Andrew Trav- ers , which highlights the paper: Temperature Dependence of the DNA Double Helix at the Na- noscale: Structure, Elasticity, and

Fluctuations , Sam Meyer , Daniel Jost , Nikos Theodora- kopoulos , Michel Peyrard , Richard Lavery , Ralf Everaers . I s Potassium a Ubiquitous Media- tor of Vasodilation in the Central Nervous System? , Lane K. Bekar , Maiken Nedergaard , which high- lights the paper: Potassium Buffering in the Neurovascular Unit: Models and Sensitivity Analysis , Alexandra Witthoft , Jessica A. Filosa , George Em Karniadakis . Know the Editors Each month this section of the Newsletter highlights BJ editors.

Anne Kenworthy Vanderbilt University Editor for Membranes Section

Anne Kenworthy

Q: What is your area of research? My research interests lie at the interface of cell biology and biophysics. A major goal of my research program


Biophysical Society Newsletter



Subgroups has been to elucidate the fundamental structural and dynamic properties of membrane domains in cells. To this end, my group has worked to develop bio- physical approaches to study membrane domains and protein and lipid dynamics in cells using fluorescence microscopy and live cell imaging, while at the same time maintaining an interest in how domains function at the cellular level. Our recent work has focused on understanding the nature of domains formed upon binding of the raft crosslinker cholera toxin to cell membranes, as well as investigating how these domains regulate the uptake of cholera toxin into cells. To com- plement our work in cells, we have begun to extend our work to model membrane systems, including giant unilamellar vesicles and plasma membrane-derived vesicles. We also use diffusion measurements as a tool to study protein complexes in their native environment

BIV The Biopolymers in vivo subgroup explores biology, in vivo, where it happens! We are really excited by the upcoming Annual Meeting: especially the Biopolymers in vivo (BIV) subgroup meet- ing and symposium! In the program, designed by Gilad Haran and Jeff Skolnick , attendees will hear from six inter- nationally renowned speakers, headlined by our keynote speakers Judith Frydman and Sunney Xie . The six talks will be accompanied by two postdoctoral talks selected from the submitted abstracts. The theme of the BIV subgroup symposium, Molecular Machines and How They Function Inside Cell s, echoes the overarching theme of the Annual Meeting. The talks will cover state-of-the-art computa- tional approaches to simulate cellular biophysics, as well as the newest and most exciting experimental techniques. Combining this with titillating biological questions will yield a super session that truly “Bridges the Sciences to Explore Biology.”We count on seeing you there! At our 12:15 pm Business Meeting, which precedes the symposium, we will discuss how this subgroup can serve the needs of this burgeoning community. Thanks to generous sponsors, we’ll have delicious munchies to stimulate a lively exchange of ideas. We are persuaded that biophysics is moving increasingly toward complex systems that better represent in vivo processes, and we wish to catalyze new collaborations and methods, to foster dialogues among scientists from different disciplines, and to encourage young scientists to em- bark on careers that take them into the in vivo world. Please join us for a stimulating afternoon of science in an exciting new area of biophysics. Lila Gierasch , Silvia Cavagnero , and Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede , Current, future, and past BIV chairs Jeetain Mittal , Secretary/Treasurer Simon Ebbinghaus , Joan Shea , Daryl Eggers , Members-at-Large Gilad Haran , Jeff Skolnick , Symposium Co-Chairs — Lila Gierasch , BIV Subgroup Chair

in cells. In collaboration with biomathematicians, we have developed methods to quantifying diffusion and reaction-diffusion using quantitative fluorescence microscopy approaches. Using these tools, we have addressed a number of questions in diverse areas of cell biology, including the principles that govern the revers- ible binding of proteins to DNA and membranes in cells and the size and stoichiometry of protein com- plexes in the autophagy pathway.

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Dear Molly Cule

Professor Molly Cule is delighted to receive comments on her answers and (anonymized) questions at , or visit her on the BPS Blog.

At the Meeting, the Career Center posts many job opportunities on the job board, organized by postdoc, faculty, and industry positions. Post your CV early so that interested employ- ers will know you are available! www.biophysics. org/2014meeting/CareerCenter/OnsiteJob- Board/tabid/4306/Default.aspx If you are interested in a faculty position, sign up for the Postdoc to Faculty Q&A: Transitions Forum and Luncheon . Sit in with faculty who have gone through the process of getting a position and ask them any questions you might have. The luncheon is limited in size (sign up early!) and the smaller size makes it easy to have useful and in-depth discussions. You may also want to attend the Career Oppor- tunities at PUIs: Finding a Job and Finding Suc- cess session for advice on obtaining a faculty position. Start perusing the career sessions to see what is being offered this year. For example, the Early Careers Committee is organizing two panels this year highlighting PhD Careers Beyond the Bench and Moving on from Your Postdoc Posi- tion . The goal of the Early Careers Committee is to help people like you, in the early stages of their careers. Use them as a resource year-round. I’ve tried to highlight in this limited space just a few of the resources available to you at the Meeting, but remember that one of the best ways to make the most of the Meeting is to talk to the people in your field. Networking will be an important aspect to your entire career, not just when you are looking for a job. Walk up to the leaders in your field and introduce yourself. Ask a question. Start a discussion with them. The Annual Meeting brings all those people to within easy walking distance. Take advantage of it!

“I am attending the BPS Annual Meeting and am newly in the job market. How can I make the most of the Meeting to assist with my job search?” Many different resources are available during ev- ery Annual Meeting. These are listed in the on- line program schedule before the Meeting even takes place and at the beginning of the program book given out at the registration desk. Some of the events require signing up ahead of time so it’s a good idea to know which sessions you want to attend before you get there. The online program can be viewed here: www.biophysics. org/2014meeting/Program/ The Career Center workshops cover many dif- ferent topics including networking ( Networking Now: How to Maximize Success at BPS 2014 ), how to interview ( Ten Tough Industrial Inter- view Questions and Ten Pretty Good Responses , Selling Yourself to the Life Sciences Industry ) and career opportunities outside of academia that capitalize on your scientific background ( Beyond the Bench: Preparing for Your Career Transition in the Life Sciences ). Having a well written CV is crucial for any job search, so take advantage of the expert advice available during the meeting. At the Career Center, you can sign up for one-on-one sessions with an executive coach and a contract recruiter. Both have extensive experience with the hiring end of the equation and will help you improve your CV. These sessions fill up quickly, so sign up early and don’t forget to bring a printed copy of your CV with you. You can also use the Job Board, available every year in the Career Center. Simply upload your CV so that employers can take a look, both on- site during the Meeting and online afterwards.


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Public Affairs BPS Urges Congress to Support NDD Programs, Replace Sequestration

the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Sci- ence, Franklin “Lynn” Orr to assume the role of Un- der Secretary for Science and Energy at DOE, and Ellen D. Williams to head the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at DOE. Kastner is currently the dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Science, Orr is a petroleum engineering professor at Stanford University, and Williams is chief scientist at BP. These nominations will provide Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz with a full leadership team—these positions have been filled by acting Directors since he became Secretary. If confirmed by the US Senate, Kastner will direct the office’s $4.6 billion budget that funds basic research at universities and 10 national labs. The office is currently managed by Deputy Director Patricia M. Dehmer . As Under Secretary, Orr will oversee the Office of Science as well the offices of fossil fuel, energy efficiency and renewable energy, nuclear energy, elec- tricity delivery and energy reliability, Indian Energy, and the technology transfer coordinator. Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Energy Michael Knotek has been serving in this role temporarily since 2011, when Steven E. Koonin left the position. At ARPA-E, Williams will oversee the DOE’s lead office for finding breakthrough energy technologies. If confirmed, she will be the second director of ARPA-E, replacing Arunava Majumdar , who held the post since the office’s inception in 2010. Biophysics on Have you recently given a talk on a biophysical-re- lated topic that was recorded? Send us the link and we can add it to the Biophysical Society YouTube Channel. The channel will make it easy for those interested in biophysics to find inter- esting talks to view or use in the classroom. You can find the channel through the icon on the Society website or by going to com/user/biophysicalsociety .

Along with 400 organizations representing a variety of programs funded by the domestic discretion- ary portion of the federal budget, the Biophysical Society sent a letter to all members of Congress ask- ing them to replace sequestration with a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction. The letter was sent to Congress as they returned from their Thanksgiving recess and faced two weeks before the December 13 deadline by which they were to develop a plan for the 2014 fiscal year. A month earlier, the Society joined more than 180 organizations representing patients, scientists, health care providers, universities, and industry in sending a letter to House and Senate Budget Committee chairs Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) with the same message, but focused on funding for the National Institutes of Health. The letter, led by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, urged Congress and the Ad- ministration “to work together on a responsible FY 2014 budget agreement that replaces sequestration with a balanced plan that recognizes the significant cuts already made to discretionary programs, pre- serves the nation’s investment in medical research, and protects the health of the American people.” In closing, the letter states that “If we are to address the health challenges of an aging and increasingly diverse population, and remain a vibrant force in the global economy, America needs more invest- ment in medical research, not less.” You can read both letters in their entirety on the Society Newsroom under the About Us tab. Obama Makes Key DOE Nominations In mid-November, President Barack Obama nomi- nated Marc Kastner to become Director of


Biophysical Society Newsletter



58 th Annual Meeting February 15–19, 2014 | San Francisco, California

Policy Sessions Biophysics at the National Large Facilities: Current and Future Science  Possibilities This session will survey a range of techniques available at the national user facilities around the country to elucidate structural information for biomolecules. The standard tools, such as macromolecular crystallography, will be included, as well as up-and-coming techniques such as LCLS-based structure determination. Attendees will also learn how researchers can access and take advantage of these facilities. Sponsored by the Public Affairs Committee. Jen Bohon , National Synchrotron Light Source, Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences Britt Hedman , Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Photon Science Department Caralyn Larabell , UC San Francisco, Anatomy Department John Spence , Arizona State University, Physics Department Peter Zwart , Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Physical Biosciences Division Funding: If Not from Federal Agencies, from Where?  In this session, experts representing foundations, nonprofits, universities, and business will discuss non-federal sources of research funding, how to pursue them, and whether they present a viable substitute for lost or decreased government funding sources. The panelists will also discuss if and how their funding strategies have changed in response to federal funding, how scientists can effectively forge relationships with industry Monday, February 17, 2:30 pm –4:00 pm Speakers: Sunday, February 16, 2:30 pm –4:00 pm

and foundations, and how universities are responding to the changing funding landscape. This session is sponsored by the Public Affairs Committee.

Introducing the Society's New Online Legislative Action Center The Society has a new tool that makes it easier than ever for you to contact your elected officials or write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the issues important to you as a scientist. Stop by the Society Booth to try it out and send a message to your Member of Congress!


Robert Conn , President, The Kavli Foundation Bill Balke , University of California, San Francisco, and American Heart Association Additional speaker to be announced. Grant Writing Workshop: How (Not) to Write Your NIH Grant Proposal Monday, February 17, 1:00 pm –3:00 pm Through mock study sections and discussions, veteran NIH officials will demonstrate what review panels look for when they read and as- sess proposals. They will also answer questions about peer review, avoiding application pitfalls and responding to review concerns. This ses- sion is sponsored by the Public Affairs Com- mittee and is appropriate for both experienced principal investigators and those applying for their first grant. John Bowers , Center for Scientific Review, NIH Jean Chin , National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Catherine Lewis , National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Peter Preusch , National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH Don Schneider, Center for Scientific Review, NIH Speakers:

Science and Policy with Steven Chu 

Tuesday, February 18, 1:30 pm –2:30 pm

Steven Chu , former US Secretary of Energy, has returned to academia and Stanford University. During this session he will discuss his current research and biophysics research in general, and also reflect on science policy in the US.



Biophysical Society Newsletter


B r i d g i n g t h e S c i e n c e s t o E x p l o r e B i o l o g y


Career Center/ Job Board

Free Networking Cards for Poster Presenters Are you presenting a poster at the Annual Meeting this year? If so, you already have 25 pre-printed Net- working Cards waiting for you. Networking Cards are like business cards, but designed just for scientists. They provide your contact information, title of your abstract, your presentation date/time, and abstract content. Hand them out to oth- er researchers before, during, or after your poster presentation. Networking cards will be available for pick up in the Exhibit Hall. Look for more infor- mation in an email sent to you in January. Sponsored by Quartzy. com, the world’s lead- ing free online lab management platform.

For Job Seekers:

• Copies of your resume in the Resume Binder for employers to view onsite; • Job seeker’s name along with poster/platform presentation name and number (if applicable) included on the candidate listing page and given to all employers; • Time saved at the Annual Meeting. Resume/CV posting is FREE for all attendees. Can’t post your job or resume online by February 3? Don’t worry! You may still post your resume at the Annual Meeting, but your job posting or resume will not be included in the items listed above. For more information, please visit www. and click the Career Center tab. New Member Welcome Coffee All new Biophysical Society members are invited to participate in an informal gathering to meet members of the Society’s Council and com- mittees, learn about the Society’s activities, get acquainted with other new members, and enjoy refreshments. Current members are encouraged to attend and welcome the new members. Monday, February 17, 10:15 am –11:15 am

Looking for a new position? Have a position to fill? Visit the Career Center at the Annual Meet- ing. Candidates may post their CVs at no charge and apply for job openings. Employers wishing to advertise job opportunities may do so, and 2014 BPS members qualify for a reduced posting fee.

Annual Meeting Special: Employers and Job Seekers—Post Early to Save and Increase Visibility!

Post your job or resume on the Society Job Board between January 2 and February 3, indicate that you’re participating in the Annual Meeting Career Center, and receive the following advantages:

For Employers:

• Viewable job posting on the Society Job Board for 60 days; • Copies of your job posting or inclusion of your resume in the Resume Binder for participants to view onsite; • Inclusion on a listing of job postings given to all attendees; • The ability to set up interviews onsite at the meeting; • Time saved at the Annual Meeting.

Itinerary Planner— Now Available

Browse the over 4100 abstracts submitted for the Annual Meeeting and plan your daily schedules. To access the Itinerary Planner visit,


Biophysical Society Newsletter



58 th Annual Meeting February 15–19, 2014 | San Francisco, California

Child Care The Biophysical Society will once again provide child care services while you attend the Annual Meeting! Discounted child care will be available at the

First-Time Attendee Drop-By Is this your first time attending a Biophysical Society Annual Meeting? Wondering what to do first? Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering how to best use your time? Drop by the first- time attendee event on Saturday evening during the Opening Mixer to learn how to navigate the Meeting. Society staff and Membership Committee Members will be on hand to answer your questions and help you gain the most from your time at the BPS 2014 San Francisco meeting. Wiki-Edit 2014 Contest Kick-off

Sponsors Gold Level • Carl Zeiss

Microscopy, LLC • Photon Technology International, Inc. Silver Level • AlphaGraphics • Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments Company • Chroma Technology Bronze Level • Bruker Corporation • FEI Company • Forte Bio, A Division of Pall Life Sciences • GE Healthcare • HEKA Electronik • KinTek • Molecular Devices, LLC • Nanion Technologies

Annual Meeting through KiddieCorp. Trained professionals will be on hand to watch children of all ages, and the fee includes fun activities and light snacks. Pre-registration is recommended. A family room will also be available in the Moscone Center, stocked with diapers, a small refrigerator, private areas for nursing, electrical outlets, and a small area for rest and play. To register your child for the child care service, visit, and click the General Information tab. Calling All Bloggers! BPS is looking for bloggers to share meeting tips, can't miss events, the best local eateries, and more with the Society’s blog readers (3,500+ during the Meeting). Check out some of the latest entries, as well as posts from the 2013 meet- ing at To learn more and submit your application, visit www.

The Importance of Open License Media to Our Science

• Nanosurf, Inc. • NanoTemper

Sunday, February 16, 2:15 pm –3:30 pm

Technology, Inc. • Park Systems, Inc. • Sutter Instrument • World Precision Instruments • Wyatt Technology Corporation

Interested in entering the Society’s wiki-editing contest and learning more about open license media? Come to this demonstra- tion and discussion for contest entrants and any- one curious about wiki Deadline to apply is January 17.

editing and the use of images and films on Wikipedia. Learn about the contest, as well as the do’s and don’ts of posting images. Register your username, do an edit, and get a WikiProject Biophysics button to wear!


Daniel Mietchen , WikiProject Open Access and Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin Jane Richardson , BPS Past President.


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Grants and Opportunities

Mechanics of Materials Objective: To support fundamental research in interdisciplinary solid mechanics. Who May Apply: Universities, colleges, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, and unaffiliated individuals Submission Deadline: February 15, 2014 Website: jsp?pims_id=13355

Biophysical Society

2014 Summer Research Program in Biophysics

Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods

Objective: To support the discovery and de- velopment of theoretical and computational methods or models to address a range of chemical challenges, with emphasis on emerging areas of chemical research.  Who May Apply: Universities, colleges, non-profit organizations, state and local governments, and unaffiliated individuals Submission Deadline: September 30, 2014 Website: jsp?pims_id=503420

May 13–July 31, 2014

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Priority Application Deadline: February 15, 2014

Interested in interdisciplinary science? Want to work in fast growing area of biomedical research? Looking to get some hands-on lab experience this sum- mer? Check out the Summer Research Program in Biophysics, an 11 week course for undergraduate minority stu- dents at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Personal expenses, travel costs, meals, and housing are covered. Questions? Contact contact Ellen Mackall, Summer Research Program Administrator, at or call (240) 290-5611 . The Biophysical Society Summer Course in Biophysics: Case Studies in the Physics of Life is funded by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health. [2 T36-GM075791]

Suggest a Student or Postdoc to Spotlight

Do you have a spotlight-worthy student or postdoc in your lab? Let us know. Send his/her name to so that they can be featured in the newsletter.


Biophysical Society Newsletter



Judge at a High School Science Fair and Give a Biophysical Society Award

For the sixth year in a row, BPS will sponsor Biophysics Awards at state and regional science fairs in the United States and Canada. The initia- tive promotes the teaching and learning of STEM subjects, and raises awareness of biophysics among high school students and teachers. Last year, this initiative funded awards for 29 students in 12 US states and 1 Canadian province. In 2014, BPS has already committed to plans for sponsoring awards at state and regional fairs in the Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, San Diego, Philadelphia, and San Francisco areas. Don’t live in these areas? Consider giving a Bio- physics Award at your local fair! For instructions on how to have BPS sponsor the award go to, and choose "Awards/ Opportunities", then "Volunteer", and click "Science Fairs." You must register the fair with the Society by January 31, so don’t delay!

A student present his project during a local science fair.

Introducing Digital ClampOne ™ from NEUROSCIENCE TOOLS “THE GAME CHANGER” ElectrophysiologyClampingAmplifier Booth #803 at BPS 2014


Digital Clamp One™ with Dual Headstages and Laptop. Available with 4 Headstages. Developed with SBIR NS48682 from NINDS | (630) 964-0501 |


Biophysical Society Newsletter



Spreading the Word about Biophysics at Conferences for Minority Students

This past fall, the Biophysical Society joined over 6,000 undergraduate students at two of the largest annual conferences for minority students interested in science, The Society for the Advancement of Hispanic/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference and the Annual Bio- medical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). BPS, along with over 1,000 other insti- tutions, agencies, and societies, provided student at- tendees with professional advice, exposure to a variety of disciplines, and an array of academic opportunities.

Several students were presented with Poster Awards from the Society at ABRCMS.

Hernandez , University of New Mexico, and Gelson Pagan Diaz , University of Puerto Rico.

Also, for the first time at SACNAS, BPS featured the Biomolecular Discovery Dome which showed a mini- film entitled Trypanosoma: Parasite Kills Millions in Africa and the Americas . The dome allowed participants to get a 3-D visual of the parasite and learn about the biophysical research into the disease it causes—Sleeping Sickness. In November, BPS staff headed to Nashville, Ten- nessee, for ABRCMS. BPS Staff members April Dela Vega and Claude Ngopa spoke to students about the Society’s programs and services, especially the Soci- ety’s Summer Program in Biophysics, an 11-week course at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Local BPS members Brett Kroncke and Dungeng Peng , Vanderbilt University, judged biophysics-related posters during the three-day conference and selected an additional two travel award winners to attend the BPS 2014 Annual Meeting. The ABRCMS Travel Award winners are Joshua Rosario-Sepulveda , University of Puerto Rico at Cayay, and Tomas Rodriguez , University of California, Davis.

Students wait in line wearing 3-D glasses to view the show in the Biomolecular Discovery Dome.

In October, BPS staff made their way to San Antonio, Texas, for SACNAS, where Minority Affairs Committee member, Luis Marky , Univer- sity of Nebraska, chaired the biophysics sympo- sium, Cutting-Edge Research in the Electrostatics of Nucleic Acids, Proteins, and Their Interactions . In addition to Marky, Blanca Barquera , Rens- selaer Institute of Technology; Thomas Truskett , University of Texas at Austin; and Lauren Webb , University of Texas Austin, gave talks during the symposium. MAC committee member Silvia Cavagnero , University of Wisconsin, Madison, joined Marky in judging biophysics-related post- ers and selecting two students to win travel awards to attend the BPS 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, and present their research. The SACNAS Travel Award winners are Melissa

In addition to the four travel awards, BPS sponsored a total of 12 poster awards between the two conferences.


Biophysical Society Newsletter



Mechanobiology of Protein and Cells In October 2013, the Biophysical Society co-spon- sored a thematic meeting on the mechanobiology of proteins and cells. The meeting was held at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine, in a fabulous setting, amid rustic accomodations-upon arrival, the participants had to search for their cabin in the dark, with flashlights

integrate the various regulatory mechanisms and maintain a state of homeostasis, far from equilibrium? There were lively discussions on science, not only after the lectures but also during the poster ses- sions and hikes in the national park. It was highly appreciated that researchers from different disciplines were brought together who would not regularly meet

Thematic Meetings 2014

Modeling of Biomolecular Systems Interactions, Dynamics, and Allostery Istanbul, Turkey September 10–14, 2014 Significance of Knotted Structures for Function of Proteins and Nucleic Acids Warsaw, Poland September 17–21, 2014 Disordered Motifs and Domains in Cell Control Dublin, Ireland October 11–15, 2014 For complete information visit:

provided by the Society to light the way. The scenery as the sun rose above the water the next morning made the nighttime trek worth it! The meeting provided a forum for analysis and discussion of

Great conference! Small focused groups are such an intense learning experience.

otherwise, even though they share a common passion for mechanobiology. In fact, the mechanics of cellular compo- nents is generally spread out over a wide range of meetings

- Thomas Suchyna

from biology to physics, and many researchers met for the first time. The interaction of young and senior researchers and the mutual learning aspect was a

the mechanics of cells and cellular components by biophysicists, biochemists, physiologists, and theoreti- cians. The last decade has seen an explosion of both data and theory on the dynamics and mechanics of biomolecular components. The latest research to ma- nipulate and observe molecules at the single molecule level, even in vivo, and do real time observations on catalysis and traffic inside were presented. The in vitro reconstruction of cell division components and high- resolution imaging of synthetic cell division was one of the spectacular findings featured at the meeting. Also, numerous new insights into the mechanics of ion channels and solute transporters were presented. The combination of functional and structural studies with theory has resulted in realistic models on the workings of many of the important machineries of life. In several of the lectures, it was demonstrated that we are beginning to understand how proteins can be gated mechanically and how mechanic signals are transduced from one component to another. Many of the lectures addressed one or more of the following questions: How are changes in osmotic pressure and other mechanical stimuli sensed and processed by living cells? How do macromolecule- water-solute interactions modulate macromolecular structure, assembly and function? How can physi- cochemical factors like macromolecular crowding and membrane tension be determined? What are the molecular mechanisms of osmoregulatory transport- ers and mechanosensitive channels. How does a cell

Over 80 abstracts were submitted for the four-day meeting.

highlight of the meeting. The closing of the national government during the meeting raised additional non-scientific discussion, in particular after some drinks, around midnight. The meeting’s organizing committee members included Bert Poolman , University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Paul Blount , University of Texas Southwestern, with the local organizer Kevin Strange and his staff from Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. — Bert Poolman , Meeting Chair

Speakers Include: Biomolecular Structure, Dynamics, anD Function: Membrane Proteins VanderbIlt University May 2-4, 2014

Tim Cross FSU Larry DeLucas, U Alabama Ron Dror, Shaw/Stanford Petra Fromme, Arizona State U K. Henzler-Wildman, Wash U Mei Hong ,Iowa State U Tina Iverson, Vanderbilt Natalia Jura, UCSF Gary Lorigan, Miami U Hassane Mchaourab, Vanderbilt Merritt Maduke, Stanford Teru Nakagawa, Vanderbilt Melanie Ohi, Vanderbilt Heather Pinkett, NorthwesteRN James Prestegard, U Georgia Jonathan Sachs, U Minnesota Michael Wiener, U Virginia

Travel Grants and URM Scholarships Available!

Major Sponsorship by NIGMS aND The Vanderbilt Center for Structural Biology

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Upcoming Events

Biophysical Society Newsletter january 2014





March 14–16, 2014 Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences Conference Arlington, VA Conferences/iplsc.cfm March 30–April 4, 2014 G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Structural Dynamics and Functional Implications Snowbird, Utah https://www.keystone- cfm?e=web.meeting. program&meetingid=1250

April 6–1, 2014 Photosensory Receptors & Signal Transduction: From Biophysics and Physiology to Optogenetics and Clinical Applications Lucca (Barga), Italy year=2014&program=photosen April 24–25, 2014 NIMBioS Investigative Workshop: Modeling Contamination of Fresh Produce Knoxville, TN workshops/WS_produce.html

May 27–30, 2014 The Second International Conference on Radiation and Dosimetry in Various Fields of Research (RAD 2014) Nis, Serbia welcome.php May 31–June 1, 2014 Mechanochemistry and Solid-state Reactivity: State of the Art Waterville Valley, NH aspx?year=2014&program= grs_cryst

June 8–13, 2014 Regulation of Chromatin Assembly and Genome Functions Waltham, MA aspx?year=2014&program=chr omatin June 8–13, 2014 Cell Death Mechanisms at the Interface of Health and Disease West Dover, VT aspx?year=2014&program=cel ldeath

Please visit for a complete list of upcoming events.

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